Smart But DeadAggie Mundeen here. I’m the person Nancy G. West writes about in the Aggie Mundeen mystery series. I’m so glad Dru is interested in my view of things. Do you wonder how I became the star? I popped up in a suspense novel Nancy had written about my young friend Meredith Laughlin (Nine Days to Evil). Whereas Meredith is in her 20s, I’m unfortunately pushing forty, so I have a more interesting background, a wry view of life, and strong apprehensions about tumbling into middle-age decrepitude. I also have a unique sense of humor and am fearless when it comes to investigating crimes. But we’ll get to that.

After Aunt Novena and Uncle Fred died, I moved to Chicago and started working in a bank, which, at age eighteen, was as exciting as a squirrel counting nuts. I decided to earn my BBA at night. I lived in the same apartment building as Detective Sam Vanderhoven and his wife Katy, who was my best friend. I was secretly in love with Sam but accepted the fact that I couldn’t allow that fantasy to take hold. I dated Lusty Lester for a while but it didn’t work out.

When Sam’s wife Katy and their daughter Lee were killed in a car accident, Sam and I were so devastated we couldn’t even grieve together. He moved to Texas to escape the brutal winters. And the memories.

I stayed in Chicago, a conglomerate bought our bank, and my bank stock skyrocketed. For the first time, I was financially secure enough not to work full time and free to live anywhere. After six months, I moved to San Antonio. I didn’t contact Sam, but I knew our paths would cross.

When we met, it was because Meredith found herself in dire trouble, and Sam and I both wanted to help. I discovered I loved sleuthing and still loved Sam.

Since I’d begun writing “Stay Young With Aggie,” I figured I’d better shape up before the locals discovered I wrote the column. I struggled through workouts at Fit and Firm until I stumbled on a dead body. Sam showed up from SAPD Homicide. Since I was intimately involved with the crime, I decided to assist with the investigation. He was not pleased. In the summer, I enticed him to join my dude ranch vacation: we’d get to know each other in an idyllic place. But crime interrupted my plan.

I had enrolled at University of the Holy Trinity to study aging, since I wrote about how to postpone it and was determined to avoid it. You guessed it: there was a murder at the college. Nancy is charged with sorting it all out: who committed murder in academia; how they did it; and how I got involved, accused, arrested and attacked by a killer. Sam grew close to apoplectic about my involvement in the case. Did I push, this time, beyond his capacity to forgive?

You’ll have to decide.

Smart, But Dead, the third Aggie Mundeen mystery published by Henery Press was released in November 2015 and is available now. To read about Aggie’s other escapades, Fit to Be Dead and Dang Near Dead, go to or books by Nancy G. West.

Both books are Mystery & Mayhem finalists for the Chanticleer Awards.

For more about how Aggie first popped into Nancy’s head, read To talk to Aggie, leave a comment or ask Dear Aggie about a problem you’re having. She will answer.

Meet the author
When Nancy was seven years old, she and her mother wrote poems to each other on special occasions. The Nancy G Westpoetry was awful, but Nancy learned if you wrote something, people paid attention. In high school, the Library Journal Pegasus published her poem, a feat she ranked lower than cheerleading. At eighteen, since journalists were underpaid and English majors sold lingerie, she studied General Business at the University of Texas (Austin and Houston), slogged through boring courses and earned a BBA. Fortunately, she took a creative writing course.

After she married and had two daughters, she read numerous books on writing and then wrote articles, poetry, and an artist’s biography. She founded Book Publishers of Texas, produced their trade journal and promoted their books for seven years.

She returned to college to study English literature and began writing Nine Days to Evil, an award-winning novel of psychological suspense, Shakespeare, and nonstop-action. Her poem, Time to Lie, was featured by “Theme and Variations” and broadcast on NPR, and she wrote San Antonio Woman’s Book Shelf column for three years.

As she finished Nine Days to Evil, Meredith Laughlin’s story, Meredith’s “mature” graduate school friend, Aggie Mundeen, took over Nancy’s consciousness and demanded that the author write a book about her. Or maybe a series. Nancy created the Aggie Mundeen Mystery Series and concluded that writing is a lot more fun than accounting.

Visit Nancy at, @NancyGWest, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a Kindle or Nook copy of Smart, But Dead. The giveaway will end January 20 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

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